How much does a Silkie need to eat a day? overweight/limp

Aapomp831

Crowing
Oct 4, 2017
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Lincolnton, NC
Ok, wait a minute guys. It is not typical for a chicken to overeat and get fat. I would start exploring other options... she may just be naturally larger. You’re sure she doesn’t have water belly (acites)?
whoever said give her cracked corn - that would be the OPPOSITE of what to do with any suspected overweight chicken. The best thing to do is to limit treats and leave their food out all day for them to have free choice of when to eat. Fresh water, oyster shell on the side. Chickens monitor their own feed intake and they usually eat to fill their crops.
 

Aapomp831

Crowing
Oct 4, 2017
2,085
3,282
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Lincolnton, NC
I haven't seen All flock here. We have starter, grower or layer available here. I have them on grower since I have roosters, with shell on the side. ... My pullet is overweight so I'm just trying to figure out how to get her to get back to a healthy size.
Keep doing that - your chicken is probably fine. Don’t switch to layer feed if you have roosters; the extra calcium can cause serious damage to vital internal organs.
 

Silkielee

Songster
Aug 18, 2019
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Weigh her.
Does she free range? If not, how big is her pen?
Chickens don't easily overeat, but with nothing to do they tend to hang around by the feeder.


No need to feed her layer feed.
I dislike it. My birds live on growers.
Is she laying?
She has plenty of room to roam in grass /weed paddock with another pullet and cockerel as friends. She doesn't go far from the coop -probably due to her limp/bent toe. So she isn't getting much exercise.
She is laying yes.
I will get the scales out today, I was just feeling by holding that she was heavy compared to my other Silkies same age.
She has access to grower feed all day plus shell on the side.
 

Silkielee

Songster
Aug 18, 2019
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Australia
I agree, you can weigh her if you are able. I weigh ones I am worried about on a kitchen gram scale, weekly if they are being monitored. I believe it is difficult for chickens to overeat. I also use grower feed as I have a cockerel, supplement with oyster shell for those who need it. 😊
Yep I'll weigh her today and come back with results. I was thinking she could be getting overweight because she isn't getting enough exercise, she has a limp/bent toe... But I'll come back with weight and see if it's bad enough to need to cut her food back or something.
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
Apr 9, 2016
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I have a Silkie pullet 10 months old. She is laying. She has a limp and a bent toe (since chick) and doesn't get around much although does scratch in the grass and can move about ok getting to food/ water and up to the coop/ roost. She stands around most of the day apart from some time scratching in the grass but not active like the others probably because of her limp/toe. She is quite heavy compared to all my other Silkies when I carry her she seems overweight.
I have had her in a separate coop for a few months now with another pullet and cockerel (for buddies) that is easier access with steps to get in and out for her.

...So, how much food does a Silkie need daily? I would have to fence her off to make sure she only gets her ration.
Also I do not give her any treats at all, mostly because the others come first. She eats grower feed (since I have a cockerel) and a little grass.

Thanks! :)
The problem is the toe not her weight.

The suggestion to use layer and add corn was not a comprehensive one and would also NOT what I would suggest because all it would do is fill your bird with empty calories while diminishing actual nutrient intake.

The bird will STILL fill up with enough volume and energy calories to maintain their weight.

Silkies in the US come in one standard, bantam.. in the UK though they have bantam and standard.. the standard Silkies are still bantam sized comparatively just the bantams are even smaller.. say Silkies bantam and large are 1.5 and 3 pounds verses standard large fowl are usually closer to 5 + pounds.

My point here is it's more likely a genetic phenotype that you are seeing than obesity.

Limiting her diet is NOT the answer.. culling at hatch would have been.. these thing ALWAYS get worse with age and weight.. period. I know this from experience, unfortunately. :hmm

As someone who bred Silkies for a few years.. and also obsesses on avian nutrition.. your current grower feed IS the best choice to offer, with oyster shell on the side.

No matter what they call feed rations.. they all have protein, carbohydrates including fiber, and fat.. the main differences is always the protein and calcium content... lower protein means higher carbohydrate.. they have the same amount of calories.. Formulated rations have added amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.. that corn or scratch does not.

Chickens will not overeat their normal ration and should be fed free choice during daytime OR as much as they can fill up in about 20 minutes 2-3 times per day. But in reality they were created as grazers so feeding timed meals is not my choice. Some folks do that to help avoid free loaders or other reasons. However if you come out and offer meal worms, scrambled eggs, or cracked corn.. they might go to town even though they are already full just from excitement.

Can ya post photos?

:fl
 
Last edited:

Silkielee

Songster
Aug 18, 2019
648
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Australia
The problem is the toe not her weight.

The suggestion to use layer and add corn was not a comprehensive one and would also NOT what I would suggest because all it would do is fill your bird with empty calories while diminishing actual nutrient intake.

The bird will STILL fill up with enough volume and energy calories to maintain their weight.

Silkies in the US come in one standard, bantam.. in the UK though they have bantam and standard.. the standard Silkies are still bantam sized comparatively just the bantams are even smaller.. say 1.5 and 3 pounds verses standard large fowl are usually closer to 5 + pounds.

My point here is it's more likely a genetic phenotype that you are seeing than obesity.

Limiting her diet is NOT the answer.. culling at hatch would have been.. these thing ALWAYS get worse with age and weight.. period. I know this from experience, unfortunately. :hmm

As someone who bred Silkies for a few years.. and also obsesses on avian nutrition.. your current grower feed IS the best choice to offer, with oyster shell on the side.

No matter what they call feed rations.. they all have protein, carbohydrates including fiber, and fat.. the main differences is always the protein and calcium content... lower protein means higher carbohydrate.. they have the same amount of calories.. Formulated rations have added amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.. that corn or scratch does not.

Chickens will not overeat their normal ration and should be fed free choice during daytime OR as much as they can fill up in about 20 minutes 2-3 times per day. But in reality they were created as grazers so feeding timed meals is not my choice. Some folks do that to help avoid free loaders or other reasons. However if you come out and offer meal worms, scrambled eggs, or cracked corn.. they might go to town even though they are already full just from excitement.

Can ya post photos?

:fl
Here's a pic from yesterday (she's in the back) I'll get more today when I weigh her.
She never gets any treats, others do.
They have grower feed with shell on the side, open all day.
IMG20201123103817.jpg
 

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